Last week, I spent two hours with a 64 year old, hispanic man. Knowing he spoke little English and I spoke even less Spanish, I began the momentous two hours in silence.
I pulled out of the gravel lot searching my directionally challenged brain for the most efficient route to our destination.
David stuck his finger out, like E.T., and touched my dashboard.
I leave my windows down often and a nice coat of light green pollen has covered my car's interior. My son, Max, had recently drawn a smiley face and wrote the word "happy" in the allergy dust.
David drew a smiley face above the word and in his thick accent he spoke words that have haunted me the past 10 hours,
"I am happy....too much"
I looked at his face and he had the biggest smile!
For the next two hours, David and I communicated with English, Spanish, guessing games, charades, and laughter.
I quickly caught on that he said "too much" for "very" or "a lot". I found this endearing.
He said he did not spend much time with other people and even after being here 20 years, he did not speak English "too much" because there was no need. "Too much" people didnt speak to him.
And yet he seemed very happy-
He came to America 20 years ago and after living in Texas and California, a trip to Memphis stole his heart. He loved it "too much" here and decided to stay, working for a good construction company that has treated him well for the past 17 years, (he said in broken English/Spanish).
He has 3 sons and 3 daughters, brothers and sisters and, until she passed a few years ago, a mother, all residing in Mexico.
He has some family in California, Texas, and Miami. "I have a cousin in Miami", I commented.
Later, I joked with other co-workers that I wasn't sure because of the language barrier, but I might have agreed to a trip to Miami with David.
As I realized the communication was easier than I thought and he was quite witty, I started asking more questions. David's hobby was woodworking- easier now in his house garage than previously inside his apartment- and making greeting cards. He illustrates and writes Mother's Day, Anniversary, Birthday, and other cards in Spanish and sends them to his sister, in Mexico, to sell. I made him promise to bring some by the office when he felt better, so I could see them.
David has had diabetes for 11 years and recently he has felt bad. The doctor gave him some nutrition advice and helped him understand that he needed to eat and adjust his insulin.
I took David back to his car, sat with him while he ate his lunch, and made sure he felt well enough to drive home. He came by the job, last Friday, for his check. He wasnt feeling great but all expected to see him at work this week.
Today I received a call. David had been found dead in his home this morning. He seemed to have passed several days ago.
I cannot find the words to express my sadness. He was alone. No family here.
But after several conversations I have had today, I found out he will be missed.
I hope he knew he was liked-
Some read every book on the subject, acquired mentors, planned and scheduled.
Some thought it was a fun idea but quickly realized it was a serious deal.
Some were caught by surprise, and managed on the fly.
Some just thought it was the thing to do and then just let everyone else do the job for them.
Some wanted to pretend, and at the expense of all involved, continued to pretend.
Some were careless and cared less.
Are you a mother? A title
Or are you a mom?
A continuous action, never ceasing, always filling and straining your heart; hard work that sometimes gives a feeling of success but mostly smells of failure; the first thing you want to do when you rise and the last thing you worry about before your eyes close on the day; a balance of taking care of yourself purely for the sake of the human lives you are nurturing- managing- teaching- guiding- and loving; giving up social needs, fashion, tans, manicures and toned body, in order to get the job done well; a punchline, an entertainer, a defender, a prosecutor, a judge, an extension of grace, a giver of mercy, a practitioner of patience, a healer, a therapist, an ear, a voice, a blame, a servant, a ruler, a rock, a blanket, a silent mouth with a raised eyebrow.....
MOTHER-easiest title to obtain
MOM- hardest job but greatest reward
I would like to take back some words that we use too often and loosely.
My first mission: adore
Socialite moms seem to find everything adorable-with-an-exclamation-mark:
"oh, your shoes, with the big bedazzle gems between the toes, are adorable!"
"your little blond angel, that is crawling up the walls, is adorable!"
"her smocked dress, that cost more than my adult dress and she will wear once, is adorable!"
Teenage girls seem to find everything adorable-with-a-high-pitch-tone:
"ooooooooh that pig, drugged and super glued to doll toys, is ADORABLE"
"awwwwww your outfit, that matches one I have and now I have to return, is ADORABLE"
"eeeeeee, that boy, who is obviously going through puberty because his man nose and feet are not proportionate to his boy body, IS ADORABLE"
I don't believe we hear many males using the word 'adore', and the ones who do, make it mean something.
I always thought Stevie was singing this song about me.
Not because I thought I was lovely, pretty or adored,
but because my name was Armour....and perhaps he misspelled Armour....
Why am I spending my thoughts on a word? and why ADORE?
to regard with the utmost esteem, love, and respect; honor
to look at with pleasure
to regard with wonder, pleasure, or approval
to look at with enjoyment
to take great pleasure in
How can words stir emotion if we use them so loosely? use them for any meaning? strip them of their literary punch in our guts?
If I use the words "I adore you", I want it to be known that what I am feeling is more than love, more than like, more than enjoy. I am saying "this is the whole package, baby!"
Join me in giving back meanings to our words.
I simply adore burgers and fries.......